Thursday, March 18, 2010

When You're In Love

We were back on track this week with another Crazy Love message as we get toward the end of the series. I opened the message by reading the following quote/prayer by A.W. Tozer
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
This is the type of prayer we should pray when we are in love with Jesus and realize our need to be more in love with Him

When you're in love with someone, you'll go to great lengths to be with them. When Belinda and I were dating, she once ran 3 miles to get her dad's car so she could come to see me. Now that's love! Think about a couple that you know or have known that it's very obvious that they are in love with each other. Now along those same lines, think about someone you know who it is obvious that they are in love with Jesus. I mean someone who lets you know by the way they talk, the way they act, their attitude, and the way they treat people. I know several people that you just know that they are in love with Jesus and it is obvious that they spend a lot of time with Him. We looked previously at being lukewarm and serving God our leftovers. Those messages weren't meant to make anyone feel guilty because guilt is not the antidote, love is.

David writes in Psalm 63:1-5 in a way that usually is not a reflection of our lives. I desire this for myself but if I'm honest, it is not always how I feel. A few weeks ago I asked the students the question "Are you in love with God or just the stuff He provides?" But to take it a step further, I'm afraid we can justify an answer but end up with this: We really only love the thought/idea of God instead of being in love with God Himself. You may be thinking I just reworded a sentence, but I believe when people are in love with the thought of Jesus they don't have a relationship with Him. Instead this is called "Religion". You can love church activities, Christian music, even learning and gaining biblical knowledge and still not have a real relationship with Jesus. I know many people when they start dating will get to a point where they ask the question, "How do I know that I'm in love with him/her?" Well I think we also need to ask ourselves "How do I know if I'm in love with Jesus?" Well here are 4 things that I think can helps us determine the answer to that.

1) We don't view our relationship with with God as a chore
Nobody likes doing chores, but when we work for God out of obligation, it feels like work. When we keep track of what we're doing for Him, it takes the focus off of Him and puts it on ourselves. When we view it like we have to serve, pray, go to church, read our Bible, etc. then our relationship has become a chore. Acts 20:35 tells us that it is better to give than receive.
2) We quit trying to earn God's love
We can't earn His love no matter how hard we try. It's very obviously stated in Romans 5:8. He doesn't say that He died for us hoping we would try to earn that love. NO! It says that while we were still sinners. That's the kind of love that we can't earn.
3) We realize that when we sin it's because we've stopped loving God
You have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. This should break our hearts to know that we allow this. We take the time to stop loving God in order to love ourselves and sin. You can't run a marathon and eat a box of twinkies at the same time. You're going to stop running in order to eat the twinkies. Likewise you have to stop loving God in order to sin.
4) Jesus is Enough
This is the big one. Your love for Jesus isn't based on Jesus plus (fill in the blank). It can be Christian music, church activities, whatever. The fact is that Jesus should be enough alone for you to love Him.

Jason Gray's song "More Like Falling in Love" has the line "Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me". Are you allowing that love of Jesus to change you. Think back to the first of this where I asked you to think about someone who you know without any question that they are in love with Jesus. Now think to yourself- are you one anyone else's list. Would others say that you are one of the people that they know are in love with Jesus? If not consider how you can make that change.

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